The month of April has begun, and with it comes the usual slew of April Fools jokes from Blizzard. This time, they have reintroduced Warhounds into StarCraft II, allowing every race to produce Warhounds as their worker unit.
After watching the MLG Winter Championship, we noticed that Life was able to beat Flash a little too easily in the finals. Had Flash been able to build Warhounds, our favorite race (Terran) may have won the tournament. As usual, we made a spur-of-the-moment decision based on this match and immediately set about rebalancing the game.
As evident in the quote above, the majority of the writing is satirical, which makes this event much more humorous.
So after considering every angle, here’s what’s changing:
- The Warhound has been added for Terran because robots are cool and the art is amazing
- The Warhound has been added for Zerg to remain competitive with Terran.
- The Warhound has been added for Protoss to keep Protoss players from whining about them on the forums.
The full article can be viewed here. A Q&A was also posted, featuring the same tongue-in-cheek humor:
Q: This sounds great! Have you considered making every unit the Warhound?
A: Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. While I think we all agree that the Warhound needed a comeback, replacing every unit with the Warhound could cause some minor confusion on the StarCraft II Ladder. We’re currently looking into alternative methods to give you the same punch, like perhaps adding a fourth race composed entirely of Warhounds, or perhaps neutral Xel’Naga Warhounds which can be claimed by nearby ground units.
Q: Why aren’t there any female Warhound pilots?
A: There are! They just happen to look and sound exactly like the male ones. You can blame the strict, some might even say draconian, Dominion physical appearance guidelines for this one.
Q: What’s the lore reasoning for all three races having terran pilots in their Warhounds?
A: Good eye! You’ve caught a bug our QA department alerted us to early this morning. We decided to ship the patch anyways, because we simply couldn’t wait any longer! Tomorrow we’ll be patching in lore-appropriate drivers for the Warhounds, including a Baneling, a Dark Templar, and an SCV.
Battle.net - Situation Report: April 1, 2013
Battle.net - Blizzard Creative Development Warhound Q&A
A new short story is out, this time centered around the Terran Warhound.
"You're going to make a pitch piece for Axiom's new heavy walker, the Warhound." Eli said this as if he were reciting it from memory.
Warhound, Drenthe thought. It was the first time he had heard the machine named. "How do you know this?"
"I work for Axiom. But also for other people. I hear things. I know things."
Read the full story here.
Battle.net - New StarCraft Short Story: Command Performance
Blizzard has just announced the total viewer count of the Heart of the Swarm launch broadcast: over 1.1 million people total tuned in to the broadcast at some point, and there was a peak concurrent viewership of more than 125,000 viewers. Also, at the end of the first two days of sales, Heart of the Swarm sold over 1.1 million copies worldwide, including both digital and retail sales. For the MLG Winter Championship, again, over 1.1 million viewers in total watched the broadcast, with a peak concurrent viewership of 157,000 viewers. Heart of the Swarm is off to a great start, and we can't wait to see what the future holds.
Blizzard - MORE THAN 1 MILLION GAMERS TAKE PART IN GLOBAL ZERG INVASION
About a week ago, when Heart of the Swarm was just being released and launch events were being viewed and attended by millions of gamers, Dustin Browder gave an interview to AusGamers at the Australian launch party. In the interview, he mentions that Legacy of the Void will have a similarity to Seven Samurai, perhaps even drawing influence directly from it.
Then for Legacy of the Void, the only thing I can say at this point, is think of it more as Seven Samurai. This is The Protoss on their last legs, in their final hours, fighting against the darkness that threatens to consume the Universe. And they are the only ones who can stand up to the forces that are arrayed against them.
They are the proud few warriors facing the void, facing oblivion on their own, and slowly being picked off one-by-one. And that’s what we’re going to try and get across in Legacy of the Void, that real sense of doom, and really give you the sense of what it is like to be this race with those long, and amazing, and glorious traditions, slowly being consumed and snuffed out.
The majority of the interview is about eSports and technical details about the game's launch, but it's worth a read. See the full interview here.
AusGamers - StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm Aussie Launch Interview with Dustin Browder
The short story for the Overlord is out, and can be read here.
He stood on the observation deck of the former Tarsonis Ghost Academy, a reclining giant of black reflective marble on the outside and neosteel on the inside. The desiccated grounds of the city square framed the academy and the shattered monument up front. Only two ragged stone feet on a pedestal remained of the tribute to some hero of the now-dead Confederacy.
Battle.net - New StarCraft Short Story: Just An Overlord
The next short story, which focuses on Reapers, is now available. Check out an excerpt below:
Warden Kejora stood in the very center of the Hub, hands behind his back, looking over the dozens of screens before him. Each one showed new arrivals. He liked the look of none of them. Not a surprise. A small percentage of humanity was resistant to resocialization in some way, but even among that tiny group, his program only received the dregs: pirates, petty crooks, murderers. Maybe a political dissident or two.
Not for the first time he considered having them all shot, but that wasn't his job. Emperor Mengsk wanted reapers, and by god, he'd get reapers.
Check out the full story here.
Battle.net - New StarCraft Short Story: Icehouse
StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm is Now Live!
Players who have purchased the Heart of the Swarm expansion now have access to all of its content.
- Continue the epic single-player campaign and story.
- Command the Zerg Swarm in 20 brand-new missions across seven dramatic story arcs.
- Conquer foes and evolve your brood in seven Evolution Mission skirmishes.
- Explore dangerous new worlds with 14 additional tilesets.
- Relive every exciting moment by unlocking the Master Archives. After completing the Heart of the Swarm campaign, you can use the Master Archives to jump directly into any mission or replay any cinematic.
- Experience the enhanced multiplayer game.
- Seven new units have been added across the Terran, Protoss, and Zerg races.
- Intriguing upgrades and abilities have been retrofitted to a number of existing Wings of Liberty units.
- There are 26 new multiplayer maps of all sizes to wage war on!
- Experience a completely revamped physics system.
- Death animations have been updated to take advantage of advanced physics effects.
- After being killed, units can fall off cliff edges, slide down ramps, glide across ice, and more.
- Many physics-triggered sounds have been paired with these new visual effects.
- Level up with the new Leveling System.
- Completing Heart of the Swarm matches now grants XP.
- Level up to unlock new skins, animations, race specific portraits, and decals.
- Control AI partners using the “AI Communication” system.
- Players can now work closely and strategize with their AI partners.
- You can issue specific commands to AI teammates, such as where to attack, defend, scout, and expand.
Heart of the Swarm includes all of the awesome new features recently added in Patch 2.0.4, including the updated user interface, clans and groups, new replay features, unranked play, global play, language selection, and much more!
Battle.net - StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm Patch Notes
Heart of the Swarm is live! If you haven't already, purchase the game here, and if you've already bought it, make sure to add the game key to your Battle.net account, then fire up the StarCraft II client!
Battle.net - Heart of the Swarm
Once StarCraft II: Flashpoint hit store shelves, we here at StarCraft: Legacy gave the book a thorough read. Our review of the book is now available for viewing, as well as an interview with the author, Christie Golden, which was a wonderful opportunity for us to understand the thoughts behind writing the book
To commemorate the release of the book and our review, we are giving away a signed copy of Flashpoint to a lucky member of the community. To have your chance at winning the book, simply join the StarCraft Legacy group on StarCraft II, follow our twitter (@StarCraftLegacy), and tweet to us your StarCraft II name. A winner will be chosen at random, then contacted with details on claiming the prize.
Good luck to anyone hoping to win the giveaway, and hope you enjoy our review and interview!
Click here for the review article.
StarCraft: Legacy - Flashpoint Review and Interview with Christie Golden
Sometimes we wonder which race will ultimately triumph in the Koprulu Sector. Will it be the Zerg? Who have adapted themselves to be living weapons of mass destruction? The Protoss, who have honed their mental and psionic abilities to insurmountable limits? Or will it be the Terran, who are versatile and determined, seeking reprieve from the constant dangers of the Zerg and Protoss armies? Well, a couple of scientists from the Institute of Astronomy, at the University of Edinburgh, did a very thorough scientific analysis of Terran dominance in the Koprulu Sector, if Terrans were to adopt a strategy of early pressure against Zerg and Protoss opponents.
The ultimate goal of this science outreach project is not necessarily to further knowledge of extra-terrestrial life, but to note "the increasing scientific potential of the rapidly expanding video-game industry, while also increasing public understanding of the scientific method." The paper is five pages long, available in PDF format here. It's an interesting read for anyone curious about the hard science involving StarCraft's races and their power struggles.
The Royal Observatory, Edinburgh - A citizen science colonisation model for the Koprulu Sector in StarCraft 2, micro Terran to defeat Protoss and Zerg?